Abstract

In February 1993, Judge Charles R. Richey of the United States District Court issued a summary judgment in the case of Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al. v. The Secretary of Agriculture, et al. The decision, which was in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw its current regulations governing exercise for dogs and the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates used for biomedical research and to issue new regulations containing only minimum, measurable standards. Both plaintiffs and defendants contended that they were seeking the best interests of the laboratory animals. The issue at stake is whether animals are better protected if the government establishes limited minimal standards or is allowed to require institutions to provide additional standards, which will be judged on the basis of their effectiveness in maintaining healthy animals. The Court avoided this dispute, however, by placing primary emphasis on applying the Administrative Procedures Act and stating that it was merely interpreting the "plain meaning" of the Animal Welfare Act, as amended. In this article, arguments are presented for interpreting the law in a far more flexible way than Judge Richey did. The conclusion is also reached that there were no winners in the Animal Legal Defense Fund case and that the real losers are the laboratory animals.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3249
Print ISSN
1054-6863
Pages
pp. 293-302
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-01
Open Access
No
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